After a 41-day strike, the United Auto Workers (UAW) has announced a provisional labor agreement with Ford Motor Co., pending a membership vote.
The proposed contract offers significant wage increases, with the first year seeing an 11% rise and an overall 25% increment over 4½ years.
The agreement includes reinstating benefits lost during the Great Recession and abolishing varying pay rates for different worker tiers.
UAW’s strategy of simultaneous strikes against the three Detroit automakers played a pivotal role in advancing the negotiations.
According to the Detroit Free Press, the United Auto Workers (UAW) has unveiled a tentative labor deal with Ford Motor Co., marking a potential end to the union’s 41-day strike. UAW President Shawn Fain and Vice President Chuck Browning communicated the development through an online video, highlighting the effectiveness of the union’s strategy of simultaneously striking against all three Detroit automakers—a first in the industry.
The preliminary agreement details are noteworthy. Not only does it propose an 11% wage hike in the first year, but it also promises a cumulative 25% increase over the 4½-year contract term. Additionally, workers can anticipate a $5,000 ratification bonus and adjustments in line with the cost of living. The terms of this agreement surpass those of the 2019 UAW contract, representing the most substantial base wage growth for Ford workers in over two decades. Some key inclusions are: a top wage raise to over $40 an hour, a starting wage elevation by 68%, significant boosts for the lowest-paid Ford workers, restoration of benefits lost during the Great Recession, and the right to strike over plant shutdowns.
The announcement is the outcome of productive discussions between the UAW and Ford representatives. However, this tentative agreement will undergo scrutiny by the UAW National Ford Council, a body of union leaders from across the nation. They will convene in Detroit to decide on its ratification. If endorsed, the terms will be presented to the membership for a detailed review and vote.
Ford, the largest U.S. auto industry employer of union workers, is keen to see the return of its workforce. Ford CEO Jim Farley expressed his eagerness to resume operations and bring back the 20,000 employees in Michigan and Illinois plants.
Meanwhile, the strikes continue against General Motors and Stellantis as discussions are still underway. The UAW’s tactical approach, expanding the strike to more GM and Stellantis plants, undeniably accelerated the Ford negotiations. Industry experts and leaders, including President Joe Biden, have recognized the collective bargaining power demonstrated by both parties, emphasizing its importance in balancing business success with workers’ rights and benefits.